ANAHEIM -- The acquisition of Ryan Kesler last summer was directly intended for the Anaheim Ducks to counter the Los Angeles Kings' strength down the middle. They were in agreement Wednesday with how big a difference Kesler has made.
Even Kesler acknowledged as much after he scored 45 seconds into overtime to give the Ducks a 3-2 win against Kings at Honda Center. Kesler has five goals and two assists in five games against Los Angeles this season, four of them wins.
"It's a team game, but obviously you want to put your best foot forward," said Kesler, who was acquired from the Vancouver Canucks at the 2014 NHL Draft. "You want to make them happy that they brought you here and succeed in why they brought you here. I thought the team played well tonight. It's not just me against the Kings. It's the whole team. We play hard against them, and we definitely deserve these wins that we're getting."
Kesler collected the puck behind the goal line, circled to the front of the net and scored on a wrist shot for his 200th career goal. The Ducks (45-20-7) finished the regular-season series 4-0-1 against the Kings (34-22-14), who retained third place in the Pacific Division.
It was the fourth time in five games between the Ducks and Kings this season that overtime was required, and Anaheim prevailed Kesler scored after Drew Doughty and Marian Gaborik collided. It was Kesler's fifth career overtime goal.
"I knew I had a lot of time," Kesler said. "I turned the corner and placed it. You don't get that open that often. When you have that much room to skate in from the top circles down and tee one up, you're going to take it."
Kings coach Darryl Sutter cited earlier how much Kesler forces matchup problems for him, and he touched on it again.
"I can't say other than against us, but he's been a dominant player for sure in these five games against us," Sutter said. "Against us, I think in the four games coming in, [Ryan] Getzlaf, [Corey] Perry and Kesler had eight goals. He's been a dominant player for them."
Kesler was one of several world-class centers, including Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar, who had terrific games in another frenzied, physical and entertaining game between the Southern California rivals. They combined for 64 hits, 28 blocked shots and superb goaltending, by Anaheim goalie John Gibson (29 saves) and Kings goalie Jonathan Quick (23 saves).
Silfverberg gave the puck to Andrew Cogliano and went to the net to easily tap in Cogliano's rebound at 7:35. Silfverberg, who had one goal in his 27 first games, has eight goals in his past 27.
"I had a pretty slow start, but I've said it before, I think I've played pretty good in the beginning too," Silfverberg said. "I just didn't get the bounces. But the last couple of games I've been getting a lot of confidence from the coaches and at the same time, the bounces have been kind of coming to me."
Maroon tied 1-1 with a finish of a good setup 45 seconds into the third by Getzlaf, who brought the puck down the left side and backhanded a pass that Maroon put into an open net. Maroon has a goal and two assists in two games since he was scratched March 13.
Anaheim has outscored Los Angeles 7-1 in the third period in the past two games, both at Honda Center, where the Kings have not won since Game 7 of last season's Western Conference Semifinal series.
"In the last two games in this building, we've given up third-period leads," Williams said. "Come playoff time, it's asking for elimination. It's something we have to look at and shut those guys down."
Said Sutter about his assessment of the third: "We had enough energy to get a point. They looked fresher and were able to use four lines more than we were able to."
Carter's power-play goal was the only goal of a brisk, physical first period. His slap shot off Kopitar's drop pass deflected off Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm's stick on its way to the net at 10:12 for his 25th of the season. It came just after Kings captain Dustin Brown made a big hit on Perry to spark a scrum.
It was Anaheim’s second straight come-from-behind-third-period win and second straight against the Kings. The Ducks are a League-best 28-1-7 in one-goal games.
"We always seem to have belief in this room that we'll keep going, and we did again tonight," Kesler said. "They're a good team over there and they battled back, but we never stop believing in this room."
The Kings have killed 44 of their past 46 penalties.